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Applications for parliamentary internships in Washington DC and Paris for summer 2013 are now closed. Applications for summer 2014 will open in December 2013. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact the Education Department on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ESU runs two main political exchange programmes. The biggest and longest standing is the Capitol Hill Exchange between Westminster and Washington DC.
Please note that due to visa regulations, eligibility for Capitol Hill internships has changed. Applications are open to current final year undergraduate students, postgraduate students, and recent graduates (you must have graduated within one year of beginning an internship). Please see 'Notes for applicants' for more information.
Each year a number of UK graduates apply and are interviewed for the chance to go to the US and intern in the office of a Senator, Congressman or a lobby group which operates in Washington DC. The internships usually take place in the summer, and some interns may miss their university graduation ceremony to be able to attend.
Each experience in the US is different depending on who you get to intern with and what is happening in US and world politics at the time. In the past students have helped to draft consultations and even legislation; attended important meetings with senior political figures, dealt with members of the public on behalf of the office they were working for and attended lobbying seminars and parties. Interns are also regularly invited to a number of private and ambassadorial parties by people connected with the ESU and the Capitol Hill exchange. All of these are fantastic networking opportunities and a lot of fun too.
The ESU does not offer bursaries for this programme and interns need to be able to meet travel, accommodation and visa costs (although candidates will have access to university halls and ESU Washington branch helps out with basics like crockery and cutlery if students take self catering facilities.)
The sister programme to the Capitol Hill is the Assemblee Nationale between Westminster and Paris.
A single candidate is sent to intern in Paris. The successful candidate will normally undertake a range of work in the Assemblee Nationale with a Deputy. This side of the exchange is organised by ESU Paris. Information will become available in November and half of the interview will be conducted in French. Previous interns have worked in the offices of Assemblée members such as M. Pierre Lellouche and M. Jacques Godfrian, and in the central office of the ruling party. An alumnus of the programme described it as:
"...a valuable experience for living in France, a fascinating insight into French politics, an exciting role in the ever shifting landscape of issues in one of Europe's most important countries..."
The programme is designed to last between six and eight weeks in the summer. Exact dates may be arranged by the candidate and ESU France after selection.